Tag Archives: pantomime

Review: Shadowplay

shadowplayShadowplay by Laura Lam
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Strange Chemistry via NetGalley

Please note this is a review of book 2 in the series and may include some spoilers of book 1

There is something behind the world of Circuses and Theatres, aren’t there? The glamorous and magical façade which overlay who-knows-what! The possibility is endless. And this is what appeals of this series, most especially when you see the author’s illustrative reviews of the books (Pantomime / Shadowplay). Those beautiful illustrations just makes you curious of the wonders you’d come across in these stories.

Shadowplay began just where Pantomime left off. We got to see Micah & Drystan eluded their pursuers and sought refuge in an old unused theatre; a theatre with the history of glittering magic shows. Thence began their adventure into the world of show business. All is not well, however, in this world. Not only are Micah & Drystan being shadowed by suspicious characters, they also need to avoid detection by their audiences, and at the same time, be ever so successful to ensure their survival is met. On top of this, as one question of Micah’s background is answered, ten more surfaced. This mystery is getting more intriguing and at the same time, frustrating because you feel like you’re getting nowhere!

The big picture of Shadowplay is the same as that of Pantomime, run away and hide in plain sight. I just loved the world and to an extent, the main characters, that I quite enjoyed this book too. I love the premise of the real magic (aside for the magic shows) and Micah’s mysterious background which I hope will all be revealed in the next book (it can’t come fast enough!).

The feud between the magicians, Maske and Taliesan, is somewhat reminiscent of the feud in The Prestige by Christopher Priest. Thereprestige were points of differences but I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed by this feud due to some similarities that I don’t think I loved the book as much as I wanted to.

Overall, whilst it was an easy read and I quite enjoyed being immersed in Ellada, Shadowplay has the feeling of a ‘filler’ sort of books; the ‘in-between’ sort of place. I have ten thousand more questions to be answered and I have very high hopes for the reveal-all -fingers crossed, in the next book. Especially seeing how this book was ended … we are being led on a merry chase.

Thank you, Strange Chemistry for copy of the eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Pantomime

Pantomime by Laura Lam
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Strange Chemistry via NetGalley -get your own copy from The Book Depository

What is so fascinating about the circus? I think it dates back to childhood days where we are so impressionable that the pomp, the animals, and weird & wonderful truly grabbed our hearts and souls. It’s also a very special treat which makes it utterly precious as memories. My love for circus in literature also dates back to childhood –does anyone remember Mr Galliano’s Circus by Enid Blyton? One of my childhood’s favourite!

Pantomime, whilst is set within a circus, is actually quite a dark sort of feel. It opened with Micah Gray, having been caught snooping in the circus and desperately seeking for a way in –a way to survive, having ran away from home. For the first half of the book, the story alternated between Iphigenia Laurus and Micah Grey to provide the background of these characters. At times, it felt quite slow as the secrets are unveiled bits by bits however there always seem to be a carrot dangled in front of you and you can’t help but chase after it all the time…

The blurb does not do the book justice but I’m not about to give you any more than the blurb because that’s the fun of reading it for yourself! The unveiling of all the itty bitty mysteries the author has buried deep inside the story. There are quite a number of layers in this book and I can’t share one without telling you about the rest. Suffice to say that when I started to wonder what the title, Pantomime, has to do with the book, it came about and I really enjoyed the last few chapters. This is not a stand-alone book! It definitely has whetted my appetite and I am anxiously waiting for the sequel (2014! So far away!).

A note to parents, this book is pretty clean (there are some kisses and a little touch here and there) however be prepared to face some GLBT type of questions. I would suggest you read it for yourself first.

Thank you Strange Chemistry and NetGalley for the privilege to read & review galley

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